As I prepare my weekly blogs, I look at the types of conversations I have had with customers and colleagues over the last month. Inspiration for this blog came from a frequently asked question “how do I improve deliverability of campaigns?”
One thing Email Service Providers should not do is guarantee deliverability of your campaign, they can only assist in improving deliverability and part of that improvement comes from looking closer at your campaigns. This blog will offer some tips for you to reduce the risk of being caught in a spam filter and how NewZapp can help improve your deliverability.
Before you send your campaign
This part of deliverability assistance may require support from your IT team* or hosting company as it involves adjusting the domain/DNS (Domain Name Service) records.
Sender Policy Framework (SPF) helps to provide authorisation for NewZapp to deliver campaigns on your behalf from your domain (for example Newzapp.co.uk is a domain). By having an up to date SPF record, you are letting the spam filter know that it is OK for the campaign to get through as there is a level of permission granted.
Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) helps to validate your campaigns. This protocol helps to detect and prevent email spoofing (Email spoofing is the creation of email messages with a forged sender address) which a spam filter will look at to check that your from address is legitimate.
DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a signature to your email header to provide further authentication. This signature is matched with the one on your DNS and if correct then the MTA (mail transfer agent) can confirm the message has not been altered on its way to the recipient. Much like sealing the envelope of with a rubber stamp (Hogwarts came to mind when writing this).
The DKIM can only be set up by NewZapp as part of our Domain Pack, this pack also includes additional features such as management of your DNS for SPF and DMARC monitoring.
Preparing your campaign
Here are a few quick tips to help reduce the spam filter catching your email in their net
- Avoid setting the whole campaign text up in capital letters. A wall of text in just capitals can cause a filter to flag but also it can be interpretated as aggressive (shouting text)
- Avoid copying content directly from Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.) as this brings additional “code” into your campaign (which you won’t be able to see, but could be viewed as suspicious by a mail filter )
- Avoid extremely long subject lines and lots of capital letters
- Avoid over-use of the common spam triggers for subject lines, e.g.
- Money off
- Limited time offer
- Save 50%
- Remember your alternative text for your images
In isolation, any of the above may not score heavily against your campaign taken into account with other factors might increase your chances of being unfairly labelled as spam
Before you send your campaign
There are a couple of things you should do before you send your campaign, these should become part of your “proofing” routine. First run your final campaign through a spam score tester. My personal favourite is www.mail-tester.com. This free to use service will provide you with an email address to send your campaign to, and then provide you with a score and a breakdown of how to improve.
Secondly, you should send your campaign to yourself and a few colleagues/friends/neighbours/your auntie, try to send to people with different email applications such as Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, Thunderbird etc. This will not only show you how the campaign displays in their inbox but it will also let you know if there are any application specific spam filter issues.
Finally, check that your list has the correct email addresses for your subscribers. This will obviously affect the email deliverability if it cannot get to their inbox!
After sending your campaign
After you have sent your campaign, you will need to check your NewZapp Track. This shows you if the email you have sent to your subscribers has had any bounces or failures. As I have mentioned in the past, all bounces contribute to which IP pool of addresses your campaigns are sent on. This is a dynamic table that updates daily, so if you have a high bounce rate one week, and a low bounce rate another, you will be moving between. The IP address pools that NewZapp uses will be affected by other customers, so if their campaigns are marked as spam, there is a risk of a blacklist against that IP address. Unless you have a dedicated (to your own account, not shared!) IP address through a domain pack with NewZapp, you will be placed in the table according to your bounce rate.
This blog has given you a few tips to help reduce the risk of being captured by the spam trap and advice on how to improve your deliverability of your email campaigns. Nothing can guarantee that your campaign will be delivered directly to your subscribers inbox. If you do decide to implement the SPF and DMARC records please be advised that it is very technical and should not be undertaken lightly; NewZapp can help with setting up these records with the domain pack. If you wish to discuss anything in this blog or have a chat about improving your deliverability through the domain packs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us on 01392 447200
Email Marketing Executive at NewZapp